Sunday, January 23, 2022

One Year on Duolingo

This weekend I am celebrating my whole year, 366 consecutive days as of today, on the language study platform Duolingo. I am one of those people (I believe the majority of all people) that like to start things on the first, on Monday, on New Years' day. However, when on January 22 I decided, finally, to check out Duolingo, I didn't expect to find it so delightful, so engaging and satisfying, that a year later I would be celebrating my first milestone streak. Had I known, I would have chosen a first, or at least a Monday :))

Anyway, I started with Spanish, which I later found out to be the best developed and curated of all the language courses, with its own Podcast and loads of Stories. As I already had some knowledge of Spanish, I did the test and the platform placed me somewhere in the middle of the second level, I think. Just a few minutes a day, sometimes with only two or three stories, but never skipping a day, I gradually worked my way to the Diamond league and to the end of the Fourth Unit, trying to complete every unit at least to the golden and most to the legendary level.

Then on October the 1st I added German to my Duolingo practice and things changed a bit. Probably because German is a language I started learning from scratch, I got so engulfed in it, that I stopped my progress on Spanish and concentrated all of my efforts on getting forward with German, alternating between German through English and German through Spanish (thus keeping my Spanish alive, if not kicking).

Would I recommend Duolingo - definitely yes, especially for languages, which are popular and the courses are well made, like Spanish, French and German. There is, for example, a distinct difference between my two German courses - German through English is well balanced, well spaced, with lots of grammar and vocabulary tips and it has stories, which are really great for learning the spoken language. German through Spanish is very chaotic, random and uneven, the tree is short and there aren't any stories. I work with it, because it is a double challenge, but if it was my only German course, I would find it rather frustrating. Besides my two German courses, I use additional grammar videos on Youtube and I plan to add written grammar exercises when I get further in the language, eventually.

Even if I don't get anywhere near to being able to communicate in German or Spanish, I still find the platform perfect for working adults, who can spend half an hour a day learning a language instead of browsing FB or IG. Duolingo is now part of my morning coffee routine and I am truly happy I gave it a go a year ago.

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